Oppo Find N2 Flip hands-on: fixing the foldable device’s shortcomings

Samsung became a foldable phone company in just a few years. At present. Competitors either weren’t able to launch their own origami projects for smartphones, or they just couldn’t compete with the Z Fold (the horizontally foldable) or the Z Flip (vertically foldable “flip phone”).

However, Oppo has been taking notes. Last year it was announced that the second generation of foldable phones would compete with the same form factors as Samsung. While the West isn’t getting the larger Find N2 Fold now, in the UK and Europe we’re getting the Oppo Find N2 Flip. I prefer the flip phone iteration of foldables so I’m glad this is the one coming out of China.

In many ways, the Find N2 Flip attempts to address some of the shortcomings of existing foldable devices. (And I’ll say it now: I loved the Galaxy Z Flip 4), but there’s always room for improvement. Oppo’s focus seems to be on the external display, which at 3.26 inches is currently the largest cover display on a flip smartphone. While this more closely mimics the orientation of a smartphone screen, don’t expect Android-style icons or an interface like those found on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold.

Oppo Find N2 Flip (left) stood next to Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (right)

Mat Smith/Engadget

However, you do get a more functional area for previewing footage from the primary cameras. The 17:9 ratio makes more sense for framing your photos than the Galaxy Z Flip with its horizontal screen. You might think Samsung’s implementation is better for notifications, but with a larger screen, the Find N2 Flip can display up to six lines of text in your notifications – plenty for text messages and even email previews. There’s also more space to read notifications, calendar events and more – it can be a tricky task on the Z Flip 4. Oppo also offers a handful of pre-programmed replies, so you can subtly (or lazily) send a reply without even opening the Find N2 Flip.

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You can quickly launch the camera by pressing the volume down button twice – you just need to make sure the phone is in sleep mode, otherwise it will just lower the volume. There’s also a cute animated animal mascot on the cover screen – you can choose between a dog, cat, unidentifiable bird, hamster or rabbit – and they come to life when you activate the front display. It’s a nice addition – but it would be nice if there were some Tamagotchi-style features, perhaps linked to your step count or even the device’s battery life.

One of the quirks of a flip smartphone is the fact that the main cameras are also your selfie cameras. As with the larger China-only Find N2 Fold, the Flip’s array consists of a 50-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. That’s a higher-resolution main sensor compared to the Z Flip 4. In testing for the week, however, the most noticeable difference was a 2x zoom toggle, which is admittedly a digital crop – but still a benefit with such a high-megapixel sensor to begin.